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How to Pick a Photoshoot Location

Extraordinary photoshoot locations may be right under your nose. When I'm looking for a location, my eyes turn into camera lenses and I see what the normal eye may not notice.

This is what I look for:

1. Lighting!

- You may find the most gorgeous architecture or landscape, but if it places my subject straight into the stark sunlight, I'll only get squinty, uncomfortable faces and harsh shadows.

2. Variety of Looks

- I look for a variety of spots within that one location to give their photoshoot a range of looks.

3. Background

- Any traffic, light poles, or unwanted background objects?

4. Foot traffic

- Are there a lot of people walking around that would distract from the focus of the photoshoot? This is especially important if kids and pets are involved.

5. Local Events

- Winston-Salem tends to have a ton of local events in some of my favorite shooting locations. I always double check to make sure there will be no events on the day of my photoshoot. That would be an unpleasant surprise.

6. How my subjects will fit into the location

- Will this location pull your eye to the photo subjects and compliment them?

The locations that meet these requirements may surprise you! For instance, the location I found for The Weir's family session is a plot of land that is often overlooked. But with the right angle, time of day, and a little editing look how beautiful it is!

I was lucky on this photoshoot because Annie knows me so well and trusts me. At other times, I have brought new clients to a seemingly ugly location. They hesitate, give me the "what are you thinking?" glance, but they are usually all brave or too polite to say no. I then place them in just the right place and angle the camera in just the right way and snap. I show them the photo and see the surprise and joy spread across their face. "Wow! That looks beautiful! I would have never picked this spot!"

Trust your photographer folks, we know what the camera loves.

Here are a couple more location transformations!

For every photoshoot, I arrive early to scout out my spots again and make sure the lighting is where I anticipated. It's really important you arrive to your photoshoot on time, photographers schedule your photoshoot time based on where the sun will be in the sky. The sun moves fast! Arriving late may make you miss out on the best lighting.

When preparing for your photoshoot, tell your photographer what type of atmosphere you would like (nature, urban, a specific theme, etc.). Feel free to suggest any locations you think may work. Then relax, have fun and enjoy capturing your loved ones as they are today.

"It doesn't matter where you're going, it's who you have beside you." - Author Unknown



Winston-Salem Photographer

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